Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Qualcomm snags Veoneer; feds to fine contractors’ cybersecurity missteps as fraud; Synopsys HBM3 IP; Rambus CXL; Samsung CXL open source kit.


Qualcomm and SSW Partners, an investment partnership, now have a definitive agreement to acquire advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) company Veoneer for $37.00 per share in an all-cash transaction that equals $4.5 billion in equity value. A few months ago, Qualcomm made the proposal to Veoneer after the company already had an agreement in place with Magma, a 60-year-old automotive supplier. When Veoneer proclaimed Qualcomm had the superior offer, Magma decided not to make a counterproposal, and Veoneer terminated its agreement with Magma. SSW Partners will actually acquire Veoneer and immediately sell the Arriver ADAS group to Qualcomm, which will incorporate Arriver’s Computer Vision, Drive Policy, and Driver Assistance assets into its Snapdragon Ride ADAS product. SSW Partners will retain Veoneer’s Tier-1 supplier businesses. The deal still needs to pass regulatory approvals in the U.S. and Europe, and needs to be approval by Veoneer stockholders. The transaction is expected to close in 2022.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a Tesla shareholder meeting that the electric car maker will move its headquarters to Austin, Texas. Currently the company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Ev Dynamics’ 12-meter E-Bus model is on its way to Munich, Germany after passing the Whole Vehicle-Type-Approval System (WVTA) and Standardized On-Road Test Cycles (E-SORT) of the Economic Commission of Europe. Ev Dynamics, which is based in China, will use model as a test and display unit for European clients. Quantron AG, a German-based company engaged in inner-city e-mobility and regional freight and passenger transportation, is working with Ev Dynamics.

General Motors and Wolfspeed have a strategic supplier agreement to develop and supply silicon carbide power devices for GM’s future electric vehicle programs. GM will use the silicon carbide in the integrated power electronics contained within GM’s Ultium Drive units in its next-generation EVs. Wolfspeed plans to make the chips at its 200mm-capable Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, New York, when the silicon-carbide fab goes online in early 2022.

NXP and its partners are testing advanced V2X application scenarios for collision-free driving.

LG Electronics unveiled its ADAS camera module, which will be available in the new 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Cadence launched a 3D-IC platform for multi-chiplet design and advanced packaging, which will consolidates design tasks in one cockpit. The platform supports a wide range of application areas, including hyperscale computing, consumer, 5G communications, mobile, and automotive.

Pervasive computing
Synopsys announced its HBM3 IP and verification tools. The IP includes the controller, PHY, and verification IP for 2.5D multi-die package systems. The HBM3 PHY IP is pre-hardened or configurable in 5 nm process and operates at 7,200 Mbps, which Synopsys says improves the data rate by 2X and the power efficiency by up to 60% compared with HBM2E. The memory bandwidth hits 921 GB/s and can be used in high-performance computing, AI, and graphics SoCs.

Samsung Electronics is building open-source software tools for adding and configuring Compute Express Link (CXL) memory in heterogeneous memory systems. Using the tools, developers can configure the main memory and the CXL memory expander to work together. The platform, the Scalable Memory Development Kit (SMDK), consists of libraries and APIs Samsung says SMDK will make it possible for system developers to incorporate CXL memory into advanced IT systems without having to modify existing application environments.

Rambus announced a CXL 2.0 controller is now available with a zero-latency Integrity and Data Encryption (IDE) modules that use a 256-bit AES-GCM (Advanced Encryption Standard, Galois/Counter Mode) symmetric-key cryptographic block cipher. The security helps protect data traffic traveling over CXL and PCIe links — security required by data center computing applications.

The U.S. Department of Justice says it will fine government contractors — anyone who received federal funding — if a data breach occurs. The department launched its Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, which, according to a press release, “will combine the department’s expertise in civil fraud enforcement, government procurement and cybersecurity to combat new and emerging cyber threats to the security of sensitive information and critical systems.” The department will use the False Claims Act to go after cybersecurity-related fraud perpetrated by government contractors and grant recipients. “For too long, companies have chosen silence under the mistaken belief that it is less risky to hide a breach than to bring it forward and to report it,” said Lisa O. Monaco, deputy attorney general. “Well that changes today. We are announcing today that we will use our civil enforcement tools to pursue companies, those who are government contractors who receive federal funds, when they fail to follow required cybersecurity standards — because we know that puts all of us at risk. This is a tool that we have to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used appropriately and guard the public trust.” Fraud includes putting U.S. systems or information at risk by “knowingly providing deficient cybersecurity products or services, knowingly misrepresenting their cybersecurity practices or protocols, or knowingly violating obligations to monitor and report cybersecurity incidents and breaches.”

Companies, people
The Semiconductor Industry Associations (SIA) released its report “2021 State of the U.S. Semiconductor Industry.”

Arteris IP has filed a registration statement Form S-1 with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) that relates to a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

NI has appointed Thomas Benjamin as its new chief technology officer (CTO). He will also be an executive vice president and the head of Product Analytics. NI’s Scott Rust is being promoted to  to executive vice president, Platform & Products.

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